Nowadays world music encompasses everything from Pakistani psychedelia to Iranian funk to South Korea’s mega-hit “Gangnam Style.” Some artists—like India’s A.R. Rahman and Brazil’s Seu Jorge—have managed to make inroads into the American musical landscape thanks to their involvement with successful movies (Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire and Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, respectively). Other artists—like South Africa’s Die Antwoord—have tapped into the global market as their videos find fans in Helsinki, Sydney and Los Angeles who knowingly nod along to Zef Side. We asked KEXP WoPop DJ Darek Mazzone to act as our tour guide into the ever- expanding world of music and compiled this beginner’s guide to the best in world music this year.
Next Jamaica: Vybz Kartel